The Lufthansa Group has scrapped rebooking fees until at least 2021. The change is regardless of class and type of fare booked. This means that customers can change their bookings without penalty in case their travel plans change.
Airlines across the world have seen bookings plummet as a result of the pandemic. While some demand is naturally returning, one big obstacle remains in the way. Uncertainty as to whether they’ll be able to travel, given that restrictions are currently changing to cope with the ever-evolving nature of virus outbreaks around the continent, is making planning difficult. To entice passengers back, airlines are trying to reduce this risk.
Change fees scrapped until 2021
Lufthansa today revealed that it has scrapped flight change fees until at least 2021. The changes are currently in effect until the end of December but could be extended, depending on how the future pans out. Typically, Lufthansa would charge significant flight change fees on its least flexible hand baggage only fares.
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However, it has become clear to the airline that flexibility is key to winning back customers. A customer who is unsure if they want to book because new travel restrictions may come into force may be happier booking knowing that they can move the flights free of charge.
While no change fee will be levied on any passengers, a charge could still be applicable if the ticket costs more on the different dates. Passengers would need to pay this difference at the time of changing the flights. Unfortunately, it doesn’t work the other way around and passengers will not receive money back if the new fare is cheaper.
The change will affect all passengers traveling with Lufthansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, and Brussels Airlines, and has been actioned with immediate effect. It is not limited to one flight change, either. Several flight changes are possible within the promotional period. This is just one of many changes introduced by the airline to adapt to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Bring me home NOW
The free rebooking won’t alter Lufthansa’s ‘bring me home NOW’ policy. Passengers on fully flexible tickets can, until the end of September, request to travel home on the next Lufthansa flight with availability, no questions asked.
Specific fare brackets also include insurance organized through AXA. This will cover the cost of quarantine, travel interruption, and even medical repatriation if the situation demands it. Lufthansa isn’t the only airline making changes to policies to try and reignite a desire for travel.
Yesterday Simple Flying reported that Virgin Atlantic had begun to offer COVID-19 insurance for travelers. This will see passengers with the British airline covered for up to £500,000 ($656,393) with zero excess in the case that they catch COVID-19 while traveling, or while at their destination. Emirates has a similar policy in place, with a lower insured amount.
What do you think of Lufthansa’s free flight change policy? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!